In five years, ultra-Orthodox and Arab students will make up 44% of students in Israel’s schools, according to a report released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The report, timed to coincide with the opening of the school year, presented data on the Israeli educational system, present and future.
According to the report, in the coming school year, an estimated 270,000 children will be enrolled as students in ultra-Orthodox schools. By 2017, that number is expected to rise to 310,000. Arab schools will comprise some 422,000 students in 2013, a figure that is expected to grow to 448,000 in 2017.
Currently, 52% of Israeli school-age students are enrolled in the state-run education system — a number that the report predicted would contract to 41% by 2017.
Further findings of the report show nearly half of the teachers in Israel are aged 50 or older.
However, the the standard of training of the teachers is on the rise, as the system absorbs more teachers with advanced academic degrees. Last year, 29% of teachers held master’s degrees, compared with only 19% 10 years ago. The trend is also present in the Arab education system, where 15% of teachers hold master’s degrees or PhDs.
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said Sunday that he expects Israel’s education system to eventually number among the top 10 in the world.